Kayaking in North Cascades National Park
The park's tangles of waterways offer access to remote areas inaccessible by road or trail; here are some of the most pristine and secluded mountain scenes on the continent. Bring your own kayak and you can launch from any boat ramp or beach; otherwise, companies in several nearby towns and Seattle suburbs offer kayak and canoe rentals, portage, and tours. The upper basin of Lake Chelan (at the park's southern end) and Ross Lake (at the top edge of the park) are two well-known kayaking expanses, but there are dozens of smaller lakes and creeks between. The Stehekin River also provides many kayaking possibilities.
Outfitters and Expeditions
Outward Bound. Based in the mountain-sports center of Mazama, Outward Bound stages backpacking and mountaineering expeditions for older teens and adults on peaks throughout the park, and offers a variety of special programs for youth and veterans, including canoeing and rock climbing. 226 Lost River Rd., Mazama, WA, 98833. 866/467–7651 or 828/239–2359. www.outwardbound.com; www.nwobs.org.
Ross Lake Resort. The resort rents kayaks and offers portage service for exploring Ross Lake. A water-taxi service is also available; the resort is not accessible by road. 503 Diablo St., Rockport, WA, 98283. 206/386–4437; 206/708–3980 off-season (Jan.–May). www.rosslakeresort.com.
Stehekin Adventure Company. Book a two-hour trip along the lake's upper estuary and western shoreline with Stehekin Adventure Company. Stehekin Landing, Stehekin, WA, 98852. 509/682–4677 or 800/536–0745. www.stehekinoutfitters.com. Tour $35. Tours June–Sept., daily at 10.
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